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Six Wrestlers Headed to Midlands Championships After Holiday

Peppelman, a two-time All-American, will make his season debut at the Midlands (Gil Talbot).

Storyline
The Harvard wrestling team will return from a month-long break at the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30 at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. Six Crimson grapplers will make the trip out west including senior co-captain Walter Peppelman, a two-time All-American, who will be making his season debut.

Follow @HarvardCrimson and @HarvardWrestlin on Twitter to receive updates throughout the tournament, or use the hashtag #midlands50 to join the conversation.

This year's field includes more than 30 Division I teams, including 14 that placed in the top-25 at the 2012 NCAA Championships. For more information on the tournament or for a complete list of participating teams, click here.

At the Midlands Championships
This will mark Harvard's 14th consecutive appearance at the Midlands Championships and the Crimson's 18th appearance overall. Harvard has placed in the top 20 five times including a program-best ninth-place showing in 2006.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, Dec. 29
First Session
Second Session
Sunday, Dec. 30
Semifinals, Consolation, 7th Place Matches
Parade of Champions
1st, 3rd & 5th Place Matches


9:30 a.m.
7:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
All times CST

Harvard's Lineup
125 –
Jeffrey Ott (8-6, Placed second at the BU Open before taking sixth at the Keystone Classic)
141 – Patrick Hogan (2-2, Will be making his Midlands debut)
157 –
Walter Peppelman (0-0, Listed among the top contenders at 157 lbs., will be making his season debut)
165 – Devon Gobbo (0-0, Will be making his collegiate debut)
174 – Cameron Croy (10-5, Dropped down to 174 lbs. for the first time in his career at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational)
HWT – Nicholas Gajdzik (2-2, Has not competed since the opening tournament of the year at Binghamton)

Last Time Out
No. 15 Steven Keith placed fifth at the 2012 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday, marking the second straight year the senior has finished on the podium at the event. Jeffrey Ott reached the round of eight before being knocked out of the tournament while Cameron Croy and Josh Popple each posted a pair of victories.

Related Article: No. 15 Keith Takes Fifth at 2012 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

Climbing the Charts
Walter Peppelman and No. 12 Steven Keith are working their way up Harvard's all-time ranks. Peppelman is currently seventh in program history with 92 wins while his 27 career falls are third-most all-time. Keith, meanwhile, is ninth in program annals with 90 career victories as each is looking to join the Crimson's elite 100-win club.

Related Link: Harvard Wrestling Media Center

Tournament Tested
Harvard will have competed in four tournaments to begin the 2012-13 campaign including this weekend's Midlands Championships. No. 12 Steven Keith placed in each of the first three tournaments to open the season, taking fifth at the BU Open, third at the Keystone Classic and fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Cameron Croy and Jeffrey Ott, who will be in action this weekend, have placed twice. Croy was fifth at the BU Open and second at the Keystone Classic, while Ott made his collegiate debut with a second-place finish at the BU Open before taking sixth at the Keystone Classic.

Captaining the Ship
Seniors Walter Peppelman and Steven Keith were voted by their teammates as captains for the 2012-13 season. Peppelman, serving as captain for a third straight season, has placed eighth at the NCAA's as a 157-pounder each of the last two seasons. His 92 career wins rank seventh in program history while his 27 falls rank third.

Keith earned All-America status for the first time last season with an eighth-place performance at 133 lbs. He will move up to 141 lbs. this season and enters the year with 77 career victories, 11-shy of 10th place in Harvard history.

Up Next
Harvard will open the dual meet portion of its schedule after the New Year by hosting Rider on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 11 a.m. in the Malkin Athletic Center.